The stage version of one of Radio Four’s ever-popular panel shows is coming to Wearside. SAM WONFOR hears from its guest host, Sandi Toksvig and offers readers the chance to be in the audience.
What a great job it must be to be involved in the making of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.
Since its launch in 1972, the self-styled antidote to the panel shows it was created to parody, has been delighting its fans with the most fun of remits: basically to see a Chairman giving four people a list of silly things to do - some of which will have a musical accompaniment, courtesy of Colin Sell.
Affectionately known as ‘Clue’ by the many who love it, the BBC Radio Four show was inimitably chaired by Humphrey Lyttleton until his death in 2008.
After a year of guests hosts, Jack Dee has been at the helm in the years since, although it won’t be him taking charge of proceedings when the stage version kicks off its 2015 dates at the Sunderland Empire on January 8.
That honour will fall to Sandi Toksvig, comedian, writer and regular presenter of the channel’s News Quiz.
Sandi will be joined by the show’s familiar faces Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Jeremy Hardy.
Here’s what she had to say when she was asked some questions:
Q: What have you done with regular Chairman Jack Dee?
A: I had him sent on a Herring awareness course in the Lofoten Islands. It’s rather intense and he won’t be back for some time.
Q: You’ve appeared as a guest on Clue in the past. How do you feel about taking over the chair for this tour?
A: I think it was only a matter of time. The truth is I don’t really like sitting with the other panellists as some of their conditions are catching.
Q: You’re a brilliant host of The News Quiz, how will chairing Clue be different?
A: I’m going to be using a different chair. It’s subtle but those of us who are in the chairing business know it can make for a marked variation in style.
Q: What are your favourite rounds and are there any rounds you’d want to join in?
A: There are rounds? I wonder if I ought to read the rules.
Q: Will (longtime fictional scorer) Samantha be on tour with the show?
A: I have spent many years leading up to this moment and I don’t believe it would be possible to manage without Samantha. She is the ying to my yang, the crumble to my apple, the yodel to my Swiss holiday.
Q: Will you be kind to Colin Sell at the piano?
Q: How do you think radio comedy has changed over the 40 years that Clue has been running?
A: I’m not sure it has. Indeed I am fairly confident Tim has worn the same suit since 1967.
Q: Scandinavian TV has made a great impact in re-shaping crime drama. Do you see a flood of Scandinavian comedy coming our way soon?
A: I think there have been a lot of poorly translated subtitles. ‘The Killing’, ‘The Bridge’, ‘Borgen’, those are all comedies.
Q: Have you played the Sunderland Empire before?
A: I have played here before and I love the Sunderland Empire. Vesta Tilley performed here and they say Sid James’ ghost walks the halls. How marvellous. No wonder the audiences are so happy.
Tickets for I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue at the Sunderland Empire on January 8 are available from the box office on 0844 871 3022 or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland .
We have teamed up with our Friends at the Sunderland Empire to offer two Journal readers the chance to win a pair of tickets for the stage show of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue on January 8, 2015.
To enter the competition, simply email your answer to the question below to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries must arrive by January 2, 2014. The first two correct entries drawn at random before January 5, will receive the prizes as offered.
Question: Who was the first chairman of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue when it began in 1972 and continued until his death in 2008?
Standard Trinity Mirror plc rules apply, available at www.thejournal.co.uk/termsconditions .
Competition open to residents within the circulation area of The Journal. A full postcode list and footprint of the circulation can be found at www.thejournal.co.uk/terms-conditions or available from Freepost NEA1676, Promotions, Groat Market, Newcastle, NE1 1BR. The editor’s decision is final.